Slow Cooker Short Ribs With Cider

Slow Cooker Short Ribs With Cider
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 9 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 9 hrs
  • Yield: 4 Servings

Easy slow cooker beef short ribs are slow-cooked to perfection with cider and seasonings. The dish simple and delicious, and it doesn't hurt that it's a ridiculously easy preparation. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand. Hard or non-alcohol cider provides flavor for this easy dish.

The melt-in-your-mouth tender beef ribs are slow cooked to perfection with just a few simple ingredients. You can use chuck stewing meat or a chuck roast in the recipe if you like.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 5 pounds meaty beef short ribs*
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups apple cider, hard or non-alcohol
  • 1 envelope (about 3/4 to 1 ounce) brown or homestyle gravy mix

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet (or the slow cooker insert if safe for the stovetop), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

  2. In a food storage bag or paper bag, toss the ribs with the flour, thyme, salt, and pepper until well coated.

  3. Brown the short ribs in the hot oil for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes longer.

  4. Put the ribs and onions in the slow cooker crockery insert.

  5. Whisk together the cider and gravy mix and pour over the ribs.

  6. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on HIGH for about 5 hours.

  7. Serve the short ribs with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

*Try to find meaty short ribs, but if the short ribs seem to have more fat and bone than meat, add another pound or two. 

Expert Tips

  • Stewing beef or a beef chuck roast may be substituted for the short ribs. 

  • Short ribs are usually cut in one of two ways. Flanken-style ribs are cut across three or four short sections of bone, usually around 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness. English style ribs are cut in one-bone sections, and they might be short sections or longer sections. The pictured short ribs are English style.